Hit the Open Road and Retire on Wheels
Running out of money is a top retirement concern. For many Americans, it could mean returning to work during their golden years.
In fact, nearly 20% of Americans age 65 and older are still working. That’s up from 12.8% in 2000.
My own father used to joke that his “retirement dream job” would be to become a Wal-Mart greeter. It’s a reality for a lot of retirees.
That’s because the retirement formula developed during the 20th century no longer works. Retirees can’t rely solely on Uncle Sam’s meager Social Security checks and Medicare coverage. And they’re unable to earn meaningful interest on savings or most investments, either.
So it’s no wonder that a record-breaking number of retirees are still employed.
But going back to work isn’t the only option for making ends meet. For some healthy, adventurous retirees, becoming a full-time traveler lowers and sometimes even pays the bills.
With a little creative retirement “replanning,” you too can tour the USA and avoid spending your golden years on the job. Let me explain how it works…
The Retirement Road to Riches
To stretch their nest eggs, some retirees have decided to ditch their homesteads in favor of a house on wheels.
Recreational vehicles offer convenience, comfort and freedom without the costly price tags of hotels, motels, airline tickets and restaurant food. And for those on a fixed income, these cost-cutting opportunities are crucial.
It may sound far-fetched, but here’s why it can make financial sense…
The median home value in the United States is $189,400. And for most Americans, their home is their largest asset.
But the problem for retirees is that a home isn’t a liquid asset. You can’t access its value until you sell it. And even then, you may sell it for a loss or simply break even.
Instead of downsizing to a smaller home or refinancing your mortgage, you’d be wise to consider cost-efficient, pared-down RV living.
You can buy them new or used and according to the features and floorplans that match you particular needs. By choosing a model well below the sales price of your home, you’ll also be able to save a bundle on your living expenses.
Those savings can add a significant chunk of change to your retirement portfolio.
If you own income-producing assets like high-quality dividend stocks, you can conservatively invest that money and continue to grow it. That way you’ll have a nest egg after you decide to park the RV lifestyle for good.
An Affordable Solution
Of course, RV living isn’t free. Insurance, maintenance, campsite rental and depreciation all cost money. But overall, you can save a lot more money than you would owning a home.
RV living allows you to sidestep property taxes, utility bills, homeowner’s insurance, home maintenance costs and community association fees.
Plus, electricity, cable television, water and internet are often included in the price of your campsite rental.
You may also find yourself buying less “stuff” since you’ll have less room to store it living in an RV. And there’s no pressure to keep up with the neighbors either.
Keep in mind that, while you won’t have to pay property taxes, you will still be on the hook for regular income tax. But even so, you can significantly lower your tax bill by living on the road and choosing a “home base” state with low or no income tax.
For example, residents of these seven states pay zero income tax to their state government:
- South Dakota
By sticking to a disciplined budget, RV retirees can cut their monthly expenses in half and enjoy the thrill of traveling the country.
Sites like Go RVing allow you to search campgrounds by state and select the amenities that are important to you. Offering everything from boat rentals, BBQ grills, day spas, casinos and golf courses, there’s bound to be an RV park for everyone.
Retire on the Road
Low interest rates and unreliable government programs have destroyed the retirement of yesterday. But that doesn’t mean a fulfilling, prosperous retirement is out of reach.
Think about your idea of the “ideal” retirement. If you have an adventurous spirit, and if you want to keep costs down, an RV retirement may be right for you.
What other unique methods have you considered to stretch your retirement fund? Share your story in the “comments” section below!